Community safety a priority in Jasper as lightning-sparked blaze grows

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JASPER, ALTA. — A wildfire sparked by lightning near Alberta's Jasper National Park is now estimated to be between five and seven kilometres in size.

The park issued a statement saying no communities are currently at risk, but the Municipality of Jasper is experiencing a power outage caused by the fire.

It says crews are working to switch critical infrastructure to generator power, but residents should be prepared for an "extended power outage."

Parks Canada estimates between three and five millimetres of rain overnight over the area where the blazed dubbed the Chetamon wildfire is burning, which is allowing crews to reassess some of the critical power lines.

The park says the wildfire perimeter is about 15 kilometres away from Jasper, but its focus in the coming days will be community safety.

Environment Canada issued a special air quality statement for areas around the wildfire in Jasper National Park, extending to Hinton, Alta., outside the park's boundary.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 5, 2022.

The Canadian Press